TBK Bank sent its seventh team to El Salvador with Living Water International with hopes of bringing a clean water source to a school in the village of Sonsonate. Though the elevation at the school prevented the team from reaching water, the time they spent with the children and members of the community made for an unforgettable experience.
We asked each team member to reflect on their time in El Salvador. Below are their experiences.
“The moment we arrived to the school, the kids and teachers received us with big smiles and hugs. They opened their hearts to us and gave us a very special welcome. I enjoyed every minute I was at the school, whether it was teaching hygiene lessons or working at the drill site. This trip changed my perspective on life – I am very grateful for the many blessings I have in my life such as my family, education, my job, and clean running water in my house. Words don’t do justice to this amazing experience.”
“This trip was humbling. I went in with the expectation that I was helping a community with their water source. What I received was an abundance of hospitality, sincere gratitude – just for showing up, and an overwhelming sense of happiness that we were there to help. I am grateful to have been chosen to participate and blessed by this experience.”
“The trip opened my eyes to the struggles faced by Salvadorians, brought me closer to my coworkers, and gave me a perspective of how blessed we are to live in the U.S. Throughout the week, we worked hard to drill a well for the school, and even though we didn’t succeed in that objective, it really taught us that sometimes our timing and expectations are really not what God is trying to accomplish in that moment. In the end, we were victorious in forming relationships with the children, community members, Living Water staff, and each other.”
“I will never forget the love of the local people and the smiling faces of the children. Playing Macho (musical chairs with human beings as the chairs) was something I will forever remember. For them to provide us with the meals, even with how little they had, was touching. I’ll never be able to fully repay them for what they provided to me emotionally and nutritionally. Also, love and appreciation to the Living Water team in El Salvador: Marvin, Reuben, Mama Frank, Chris, Danillo, and Marcella!”
“During the last 10 minutes of drilling, when the last pipe was going as deep as we were going to try to dig, the six of us standing around the well didn’t move an inch in anticipation. Before this trip, I had thought of many different outcomes and situations. I never thought we wouldn’t hit water. When we realized we weren’t going to find water, I was surprised at how much it upset me. You feel for the community and the school, while at the same time, realizing that the vast majority of problems we thought we had back in the States probably weren’t as significant as we thought. It was a very humbling moment.”
“Being able to work with my fellow TBK Bank team members was a wonderful experience. It was amazing to see everybody working together, open to new experiences. We were all sad when the drilling team was unable to hit water, but we knew that we did our best and the community was still so grateful that we tried. The school principal told us that God always replies to their prayers with a “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait.” She said that this is their time to “wait.” It was a moment when everybody was moved to tears.”
“It’s easy to forget how to appreciate the simple things in life. Being able to spend a week serving a community and seeing the locals smile and share, despite having little, has made me be more thankful for the life that I was given. I am grateful to work for an organization that allows their team members have such an amazing and eye opening experience.”
“When we arrived at our community we didn’t know what to expect, but we got the warmest welcome from some amazing and caring children, teachers and community members. On the last day, I was playing basketball with some kids, and a little girl couldn’t throw the ball high enough to make it. I picked her up to make the basket, and she smiled from one ear to the other.”
“Our mission was to hit water and we weren’t successful. It was an initial disappointment because we felt that we had let the community down. However, the community remained very humble and truly grateful for just having us there. This trip reminded me that ‘our way’ of what outcomes should look like is not always what God has planned for us. We need to be trusting, patient, and wait for what His love will bring in the future.”
“The highpoint of my trip was when we were saying goodbye to the community and seeing how close we all had gotten to everyone. The kids had each of us sit on the “stage” with the TBK Bank team as their audience. They stood up and did a farewell dance for us to a song that simply said “thank you for being here.” I will forever be grateful to Triumph for giving me this opportunity.”
“Although we didn’t hit water, it was a great week full of fun and sweet memories. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone on our team, waking up and singing praise and worship songs, and interacting with the children at the school. Recess with them was SO much fun- my buddy Carlos and I would always team up to play basketball together (to beat everyone else). We did well, and we did good.”
“The Lord blessed our trip in so many ways. The memories created in the community will be long-lasting. The Living Water staff members were a constant example of serving with humble, loving hearts, and I will never forget the impact they had on me. I know the small assistance we provided pales in comparison to the blessings bestowed upon us in El Salvador. Thank you to everyone for supporting our trip through fundraising and prayer, and to the organization for continuing to make this opportunity possible.”